Pro/Venix and Y2K

Ken Wellsch kcwellsc at
Fri Nov 27 05:04:36 AEST 1998

Hi Tim,

| The following exchange recently took place on comp.sys.dec.micro/
| vmsnet.pdp-11/alt.sys.pdp11.  In it, I made the guess that PRO Venix
| is based on 2.9BSD - does anyone know more details about its heritage?

There are several folks with vastly better knowledge on this than I, but
should they not speak up, I'll mumble on what little I know.

Venix is an outgrowth of V6 UNIX I believe - from my fadding memory of
the little I played with it, the file system is definitely V6 based (with
the notion of "huge" files, i.e. the index pointers would switch from
direct to indirect, while I believe V7 took a much better approach).

The 2BSD branch I believe took a much later fork, V7 or later?  It also
played a more central role than Venix I expect, contributing a goodly
amount of later PDP-11/UNIX based things that others borrowed (e.g. Ultrix
3 from DEC took csh and vi among other goodies).

| As Unix is incapable of representing times internally outside
| the range 1970-2038, the obvious fix is to interpret BCD years
| in the range 70-99 as being in the 1900's, and the BCD years
| in the range 00-38 as in the 2000's.  This is, for example,
| how BSD2.11 interprets the two-digit 11/93 or 11/94 clock year.

Gee, I didn't think there was one "UNIX" in the world 8-)  How big are
your integers?  Do you use signed or unsigned values for the epoch since
Jan 1 1970?  It seems hard to believe anything in the UNIX world of today
has this limitation.

I'll agree there is likely just the one "RT-11" though 8-)

-- Ken

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